In September 2012, Hacking for Hunger was organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as an exercise for its Food Security Open Data Challenge. In this competition, teams of coding professionals and food security experts worked to invent new and creative approaches to resolving hunger via digital applications. The hackathon event took place September 14-16, 2012, but the projects created during it continue to develop.
Digital Green, for example, is a project that utilizes video data recorded and shared by more than 100,000 small-scale farmers across India, Ethiopia, and Ghana. The videos recorded by these farmers are utilized to distribute information about farming practices – particularly those that foster sustainability and productivity.
Grameen’s Community Knowledge Worker system shares and gathers useful information about agricultural practices by sending a representative armed with a mobile phone app, developed by Grameen, to work with Uganda farmers on a personal level. In partnership with Palantir Technologies, Grameen will be able to effectively analyze this agricultural data by combining it with open source data on local infrastructure, demographics, and other statistics.
Sonjara in Falls Church, VA, collects data on the availability of micro-nutrient-rich foods to help subsistence farmers – especially mothers –stay informed about any potential danger of malnutrition, and educates them how to avoid nutrition crises through cultivating crops appropriate to their climate and available resources. This project will also make use of open data technology to make the information it collects widely accessible.